Audrey Hepburn

Irving Penn, Audrey Hepburn, Paris, 1951. Gelatin silver print, 13 3/4 x 13 7/16 in. (35 x 34.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation, 2021, 2021.72.5. © Condé Nast

Irving Penn is widely recognized as one of the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Vogue’s longest-standing contributor, Penn revolutionized fashion photography in the postwar era. Using neutral backgrounds, he emphasized models’ personalities through their gestures and expressions. The exhibition includes approximately 175 photographs, spanning every period of Penn’s nearly 70-year career. The works range from early documentary scenes, celebrity portraits, and workers with the tools of their trades to abstract nudes and fashion studies. A special section of images from San Francisco’s Summer of Love features hippies, members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, and local rock bands the Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Exhibition preview

In the news

  • A reminder — should we need it — of his enduring genius.

    Mark Holgate, Vogue
  • A must-see for photography fans or for anyone who wants to see an intimate view of the personalities he captured.

    Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Bold, graphic, sensuous, witty, refined.

    Bruce Handy, Vanity Fair




More info


Lead Sponsors
John Pritzker Family Fund

Major Support
The Bernard Osher Foundation 
Michael Taylor Trust

Significant Support
Dagmar Dolby
Jason E. Moment

The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with The Irving Penn Foundation, and in association with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Also on view